Yesterday I was in the supermarket and I happened to encounter an old friend of mine. This man was a great gospel songwriter and a pastor at his church. We talked about how much it appears that the “churches of today” have changed. I told him that I was recently let go from my past church for which I was faithful for the past 8 years as a musician. He said that churches seem to be getting away from the prospect of inspiring people and getting more into the message of supporting the church monetarily and providing a show. He also made mention of the recent situation in South Carolina where a man came in, fellowshipped with the members there for about an hour and then shot 9 of them dead. The pastor said that people had come to him and asked him how God could have allowed something like that to happen. He said that God had already given us the tools to handle situations like this. Once those tools were in place it was up to us to utilize them. Those words made quite an impact on me. As I thought about it, we DO have the power to change the gun laws in this country and make for more stringent background checks. We do have the power to check out social media pages like Instragram and Facebook to see posts that seem to be from “troubled minds.” We do have the power to use our churches to help people as opposed to coercing them contribute financially to the development of the church. Just a few weeks ago i talked to a very religious man about the pastor who wanted his congregation to give him 65 million dollars so he could have his own private jet. To my understanding he actually “got” his plane. I was just thinking about how that 65 million could have gone to enhance public education. I also thought about how many homeless people could have benefitted from 65 million dollars worth of housing. Then I had to think about it and say “Is this what the word of God is really about?” The man I was talking to said that Jesus never owned a church OR a private jet. His message was more about “giving to others” as opposed to having others “give to him.” Have we strayed so far from that in today’s churches? My pastor friend yesterday said that he didn’t do much Gospel music anymore and devoted more of his time to pastoring because he felt the people needed that more. I told him that if the message can still be delivered through music, then he owed it to the Lord to spread that message in anyway he could. Music has a strong way of conveying a message where simple words often cannot. It was truly an interesting conversation, and I am NOT one claiming to be an expert on the “word of God.” However, if I am involved in a church where it “no longer FEELS like the house of the Lord” then is that MY shortcoming or the shortcomings of the church? The church i just left wasn’t making me feel the message, even when I tried to really “get into it.” For a while all I kept hearing about was how the church needed money for this and for that. For me the WORD just seemed to “got lost in there somewhere.” I don’t know how most other churches are, but I do know that in order for any church to survive they have to operate a a business. While I can truly understand that I just have problems with hearing more about the business end than I do about hearing the “word.” Maybe it really “is” me, but at times I felt disappointed. I just thought it was ironic that I was hearing the same thing said by a pastor and a faithful church member as well. Today I am NOT knocking the church, but rather raising questions that may (or may not) be pertinent. If you attend a church, I sincerely hope you are getting your “inspiration’s worth.” One day, I hope to be at a new church where listening to the message will once again “lift my soul.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Gospel greats, Mabel John, Maxine Brown and Baby Washington and Brett Jolly in concert